Monash women’s 3×3 basketball team shoots for the world title

Monash women’s 3×3 basketball team at the Australian University Championships. From left: Maxine Allan, Sophie Tarabolsi, Emily Rylance, Jacqui Trotto, and team manager Gabrielle Jansen. Photo supplied.

By JUN LEE

Monash University’s champion women’s 3×3 basketball team will be taking on the world this week at the World University League finals.

Team Monash, who won the Australian championships, will be competing against 15 other women’s teams from around the world in Xiamen, China, starting on Thursday.

The super-fast team event – recently announced to be part of the 2020 Summer Olympics –  will be televised on Eurosport and China TV to an audience estimated at more than 100 million.

Team captain Sophie Tarabolsi said it would be challenging to tackle and adapt to the different styles of playing quickly.

The Monash men’s and women’s teams at the Australian championships. The men finished third in their competition, while the women won. Image: Twitter

“The competition there can change a lot, depending on the type of players that manage to get to China. It’s very hard to say how we’ll go compared to (how) we did in 2015,” Tarabolsi said.

“We play the same game as UK (United Kingdom) and Canada, but it’s difficult playing against the other teams from Africa and Asia because they have a different style.”

The ball that will be used at the World University League is also different from the ones team Monash generally compete with. It will be the same size – size 6 – but heavier,  with the weight of a size 7 ball.

The league’s inaugural season was in 2015, when Monash bagged bronze.

While Tarabolsi is competing for the second time, having been part of that bronze-medal team, it will be the first international level competition for three players.

World University League 2016 player Tess Young said this year’s team had strong players who had played at state and national levels.

Monash women won bronze at the inaugural world games. Picture: unisport.com.au

“They’re very balanced. They don’t all play the one position so that’s definitely going to make things easier for them as well,” Young said.

Thirty-two university teams – 16 men’s and 16 women’s, representing five continents and 22 countries – will be competing for the world university champion title.

Two teams represent the Oceania region, with qualifying events held both in Australia and New Zealand. Teams from other countries in the region are welcome to take part in those competitions. 

In the men’s competition, Australia is represented by Macquarie University, after the Monash team finished third.

Australian University Sports will be funding Team MONASH’S expenses.